Animal photography is intriguing and exciting. However, it also requires hard work, commitment and most of all patience. Imagine capturing the image of a bird as it catches an insect mid-air with its beak. This means you have spent a considerable amount of time watching the bird in order to capture that moment. Animal photography ranges from photographing birds, wildlife, pets, farm animals or any other category that might interest you. However, there are some general guidelines that apply to the photography of animals.
- Understand your equipment
This is a cliché guideline that comes with every type of photography. This guideline applies to wildlife photography more than any other type. Photographing a pet seems easy. Nonetheless, if a pet is playful, excited or uneasy, you have very few moments when it stays still enough to capture a moment. Similarly, an action packed incident occurs within ten to twenty second in wildlife photography. You can easily miss these moments or capture poor quality images if you do not have adequate knowledge of the gear and high quality camera. You also need laptop with big Storage capacity to save pictures. The moments can pass as you fumble between your focus and zoom. Therefore, try and understand functions like
- the ISO settings that provide acceptable quality
- the speed and ease with which you can snap to change focus modes and focus points
- the minimum shutter speed that allows you to take sharp images with your lens or combined camera
- Research on your subject
Capturing the golden moment during photography is not easy. Research increases the chances of a photographer capturing the best moment. For instance, in wildlife photography, find out the behavior of the animals. Learning their schedules and behavior helps you understand when the golden moment might occur. Your research should not only entail literature research, spend time with the animals to learn their patterns and conduct. You might actually acquire some good footage during the research. Similarly, try and find out about a pet from its owner before the shoot. Is the pet stranger friendly, playful, calm, aggressive or irritable? Consequently, you will know what to expect and how to handle your subject during the shoot.
- Natural Lighting
Unless the pet is coming to your studio, it is important to consider using natural light. Natural light is especially important in wildlife and outdoor animal photography. In most cases, wake up early and be on the field before the sun rises. Furthermore, this is the time when most animals are waking up to bask in the sun and find food. You might get impressive footage at that time. Take a break between 11am and 4pm because the light during that time is quite harsh. However, the golden light returns between 4pm and sunset providing natural light to complete your shoot. Remember that your camera is affected by light. Therefore, as indicated in the first point, understands your equipment and know how it interacts with natural light.
These basic points are useful in preparing for animal photography. Nonetheless, YouTube tutorials and further research are important. If you are interested in animal photography, start small (pet photography) and work up to more challenging environments, making sure to keep the photos clear and focused.
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